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2007 Acura RDX - Upcoming big problems

2007 was the first year for the Acura model RDX with Technology package. This was also the first time Honda put a turbo in an American made production car. They ended the practice in 2010. My RDX has 145,000 and it is pristine, except for the “emissions” information alert periodically popping on. There are 3 emissions systems within the gas tank rerouting of vapors etc back to the tank/manifold. When I remove the gas cap and leave it off for a few minutes then replace, the emissions light goes out. Or when I get gas. Sooner or later it pops back on. The dealer got turbo and overboost failure computer error codes. They say the turbo is wearing out, failing and at some point the car will suddenly drive like a very slow 4 cylinder car. Honda agreed to pay half the repair, which is $3500. Does all this sound appropriate to my description and possible problem?

Oof. If ever I heard a description of a car screaming “Sell me now!” this is it. If you would feel too guilty, consider trading it in on a new vehicle or donating it. And send your Acura dealer a thank you card for the half-price offer, that is very nice of them. Even in pristine condition, that car is not worth the cost of the upcoming repairs.

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Agree with @GorehamJ … time to rid yourself of this one.

If Honda is paying half of the $3500 bill and you like the car, I would get it fixed. A $1800 repair bill is not unexpected on a older car.

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1750 for a new turbo sounds ok to me

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Thanks, but the $3500 is actually half of a $7000 repair. Still feel the same?

for a turbo alone? no other parts? how about non dealer shop?

@TXdealer suggested fixing it.

I said it is time to rid yourself of this one… I assumed $3500 was YOUR cost, not half that!

Dump it.

Good point, have not explored that. How do you know that their knowledge and skill level is what they say it is and then that they can actually do the job? My mind is a little boggled at all the emission systems linked to the turbo, like 9! Right now, I can’t pass an emissions test in AZ. Not a problem until Feb.

Trish

Another vote for just replacing this vehicle .

I am going to go against the grain here. Your only problem is apparently that the check engine light is on, and therefore the vehicle won’t pass emissions again. You did not mention any drivability problems, so therefore I assume the SUV runs fine. I would suggest to not spend the $3500 on the repairs, and instead just keep driving it.

Let’s face it: if you try to sell the SUV now, or trade it in, you’ll get peanuts. On the other hand, with the average new car loan payment being more than $500 per month, and the average used car loan payment being more than $300 per month, each month you drive this RDX without shelling out for repairs, it puts money back in your pocket!

I also live in Arizona, and I assume you’re aware that if for some reason you can’t get the car through emissions by resetting the PCM and driving long enough to set the monitors without setting a code, there are two other options. You could take the vehicle to a referee station after it fails emissions and get a one-time waiver, which means another 12 months of legal use. Or, you could try registering it outside of the emissions testing zone, such as a friend or family member’s address (with their permission, of course) or renting a private PO box that has a “street and suite” address, and registering the vehicle there. Getting the car waivered is perfectly legal, though it can only be done once in the life of the VIN. Trying to circumvent emissions testing by using a different address is technically not legal, but people here do it–especially when funds are tight, and the cost to get the car to pass is prohibitively expensive.

If this was my car, the first thing I would do is buy a code reader, try resetting the codes (either with the code reader, or by disconnecting the battery), and seeing if there is a certain number of miles you can drive which will set all but one monitor as “ready” without storing any codes and turning on the CEL. If that is possible, then I’d do that, and once you get through the February emissions test, you don’t have to worry for another two years.

If that is not possible, I’d take it through emissions with the CEL on, let it fail, get an estimate for the repairs, bring the vehicle and the estimate to the referee station, inform them that you can’t afford these repairs and need a waiver, and they will grant the waiver, allowing you to register the car for one more year. Once the waiver period is used up, you can always trade it in at that point, or sell it on Craigslist as a “mechanic’s special”.

But no way would I put $3500 into a 12-year old Honda with 145,000 miles, because the automatic transmission might fail before you recoup the cost of these repairs.

Just curious… have you tried a new $10 gas cap?

Thank you for your well thought out comments. I love the car but, so, I fix the the turbo. To your point, next thing is I need transmission work, new tires, and other such items. I had hoped to get to 200,000 miles but fear I overestimated the original quality of the vehicle. I’ll keep driving until I can’t without further mechanical work. Thank you.

I’m thinking 2014 or so CR-V, considering my very limited retirement income.

Trish

I wonder if the overboost problem is what’s causing the evap error codes? The evap system connects to the intake manifold and if the intake manifold got over-pressurized the pressure might leak into the evap system, and trigger an evap error. Evap system pressured is usually real-time monitored by the engine computer. So something like that seems like it could happen. Even though in this case the evap system wouldn’t be to blame.

If that were the situation it might be possible to keep the turbo-disabled RDX on the road, as there would be no evap system problems to flag once the turbo was disabled.

Lol, no but will do so immediately!

Trish

Overboost was one of the error codes, so good point. Will look into.

Trish

Then you might be a candidate for as low a cost lease as you can find . Advantage 1. new everything 2. At least 3 year 36000 mile warranty 3. monthly payments might be less then a used vehicle

Or as I did I bought a new 2018 Ford Fiesta SE for 15000.00 and there are other new vehicles that are quite nice for used car prices.

I’m old (74). I don’t drive much and I lease often. I have had more than 20 Acuras and Hondas. The goal is to lease a vehicle for 1% of the MSRP including all fees taxes etc. Save your cash, only pay the first month’s payment at inception.
A low mileage 2 1/2 old Honda SUV (HRV, CRV, Fit) should have some equity, lowering the cost of the next lease. This has worked for my nieces for years. For them, a $500 repair would be a major problem. People say leasing is expensive. I say repairs at $100 plus per hour are expensive.
In a few days, check on Car’s Direct.com for the November lease deals.

You don’t require a functioning turbo at all to drive the car. It won’t be fast, but it doesn’t sound like we’re talking to Mario Andretti here anyway. Why not just keep the car until something else dies on it? If the turbo goes out entirely, you’ll just end up with a slow car. Not the end of the world. That could be a very long time from now.

One option if you want to replace the turbo is to check with your local community college and even high school auto shops. They’ll often do repairs very cheaply compared to normal rates. The kids learn how to do the repair, and you pay a lot less than you would at a regular shop.